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Old March 26, 1999, 07:08 AM   #1
Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Joensuu, Finland
Posts: 24
A couple of years ago, I bought some .22 shotshells to try and see if they'd be good for anything. I was disappointed when most #12 pellets wouldn't penetrate the paper target I fired at, and gave up.

Now I'm thinking about making some shot loads in .38 caliber, using #9 shot and cardboard wads. Has anyone tried this? I think it might work, but I'm not sure what powder and charge weight to use. The combined weight of wads and lead shot would be about 80 grains.

I'm concerned about the bottom wad touching the powder. Would this be likely to raise pressures? I would, as always, start working up from low charges.

Yes, I know that CCI makes factory shotloads but I'd just like to play with what I have.
Tips & experiences are appreciated.

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Old March 26, 1999, 10:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: October 12, 1998
Location: Missouri
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Don't know if it is still a stock item but Speer used to sell shot cups for reloading in different calibers. I have some in 44 that I've never loaded but will get around to someday.
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Old March 26, 1999, 11:04 AM   #3
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,193
The shot cups are the best idea if thye still make them. If not, use a heavy waxed cardboard overpowder wad or cut down .410 wads pressed down on the powder, fill the rest of the case with the shot load and then place a thin overshot wad with a heavy crimp. A light target load of fast powder should be OK. Problem is not too much pressure, but in getting enough pressure, since the shot does not engrave into the barrel and blows out almost before it can build up any velocity. Another problem is making sure the overpowder wad is thick enough to keep the pressure from blowing through it and into the shot column. (I never give reloading data out publicly; too many problems if somebody goofs.)

FYI note: .22 shot shells are used by makers of new "antique" furniture. The #12 shot makes perfect phoney "worm holes."
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Old March 26, 1999, 04:25 PM   #4
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You can make the 38 shotshells by using gas checks over the powder and then again over the shot and crimp heavily.
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Old March 26, 1999, 06:18 PM   #5
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 15,490
As several have said, Speer makes the shot capsules for 38/357 and 44. Midway (1-800-243-3220) carries them for $7.29 for a box of 50. Depending on your usage, this is probably more than enough for a lifetime. Speer has loading data in their reloading manual. The main advantage of using the capsules is obvious when you consider the spread you'll get without them. I dare say a soda can would feel pretty safe at anything over 3 yds if nothing kept the shot together before it left the barrel. Another advantage is that you don't get any leading as the shot travels down the rifling.

I always carry my Ruger GP100 loaded with 6 38 spcl shot shells when hiking around the snakey hills of western VA.
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Old March 26, 1999, 08:50 PM   #6
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Join Date: January 11, 1999
Location: Sierras de Cordoba - Argentina
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Snake country, here in the 'Sierras de Cordoba' in argentina - we blam about six a year, average, in our garden enclosure (surrounding country is mesquite and such, thick brush) - so 38 shotshells are 'standard issue' in summertime - Mine (also) a GP-100 with 3" barrel, the wife a Taurus (SW clone) five shot 2". we use CCI encapsulated factory shotshells - very effective out to two yards at least. Have tried homespun capsules (including .410 idea) with less - but acceptable- success, and no capsule (that hardly works at all). I'd go with the Speer shells if i had to roll my own, i think.

BTW aslo carry a North American Arms mini revolver when i have to be dressed more 'sociably' with 22 shotshells - CCI work well, Remington (i think - they have a crimped over load) hardly at all. Haven't tried 'antiquating' any furniture yet, but will keep it in mind...

Speaking of which, one time i snap shot a "yarara" (thats like a rattler without the rattle) between a visiting priests feet. He was highly surprised, but pretty thankful to the Lord (didn't mention NAA though).

[This message has been edited by Elchimango (edited March 26, 1999).]
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Old March 26, 1999, 09:44 PM   #7
Kit Barton
Join Date: March 26, 1999
Location: Fort Smith, AR,USA
Posts: 23
We shot rats at an old rendering plant for about 3 years with .38 Spec capsuled #9 shot.We were on our 3hird 25# bag of shot when we ran out of rats. Out of a 4 or 6 inch barrel, we found that the shot spread about 1 inch for each foot of range. They were deadly on BIG rats @ 10 to 12 yards. They will also cut a snake to peices at 10 yards.
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Old March 26, 1999, 10:52 PM   #8
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I've made shot loads for my .41 Mag and .45 Long Colt by loading a few grains of quick powder, a couple tablet-backing cardboard wads, fill with shot, and a couple of milk-carton wads, heavy roll crimp, and seal with silicon sealer. Isee no reason that it wouldn't work for .38 Special. Don't try to get much velocity, about 600-800 fps works fine.

Shoot carefully, swifter...
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Old March 28, 1999, 04:12 AM   #9
Join Date: October 13, 1998
Posts: 68
Just got thru loading 50 round box of speer shot shells last week. Loaded them for friend for turkey hunting(snakes not turkey). The data is printed on the side of the box of capsules.
Also is in speer reloading manual. The only problem I had was the capsules would not seat fully in some S&B,R-P, and WCC cases.
These cases wouldn't let the capsule go deep enough in the case and would break the capsule. Winchester and Fedral cases had no seating problems.
I ended up with 42 of 50 shells loaded with intact capsules.
The only trick is that you have to tap the capsules with your finger to get the shot to pack into them. Slide the cap barely into the capsule and tap it with your finger and a few pieces of shot will fall into cap then press it in fully. You will have to fill several with shot before you get idea of how full it needs to be to not have the shot rattling around in capsule. If capsule makes any noise its not full add a few more pellets.
I guess I am slow it took me about 5 or 6 to figure it out.
Besides loading the capsules it is like loading any other ammo.
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Old March 29, 1999, 07:59 AM   #10
Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Joensuu, Finland
Posts: 24
Thanks to everyone for responding.
I'll try the cardboard wads first and see what happens. I've shot rats and found that .38 wadcutters are effective but sometimes there are ricochets and that's why I thought of shotshells. Shots are almost always at less than 15 feet range. I look forward to giving some real trouble to rats as soon as the snow's gone.

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Old April 3, 1999, 07:19 PM   #11
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Location: TN
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I used lenolium (sp?) for the wads

I put a rounded case in a drill press and cut them out, powder, then a dot, shot then a dot.


Mouse Assassins inc.
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